You are correct that the SK-L did not have an end ladder on the A end of the car as built. I do not have a photo or drawing of the B end (brake) that would tell me if there was a ladder on that end or not. The 1912 Car Builders Cyclopedia does not show an end ladder and shows the raised security bars around the brake wheel which would make climbing an end ladder impossible. I therefore speculate that there were no end ladders on either end as built.  

My drawing of “Location of Safety Appliances, SK-L, Stock Cars series 58002-59001, Engineer of Car Construction, Chicago, August 12, 1907” shows a ladder on the B end only and only one grab (technically called handhold) on the left end of each side of the car. This drawing was revised in 1912, 1923, 1924, and 1931, so it is hard to tell exactly what date is accurate for the drawing.

The SK-N cars, for which I have a drawing dated Nov. 16, 1916 (printed in the book) has a ladder on the B end only and has the later style grab on the lateral running board, not the “security bars.” My Builders Photo of the N confirms a ladder on the B end. Likewise the drawings of the 1924 SK-P. I have no photo of the as built A ends.

I am certain that the addition of the B end ladder was in response to the Third Safety Appliance Act passed by Congress in 1910 and mandated by the ICC in 1911. That act mandated that all vehicles be equipped with hand brakes, sill steps, and where appropriate running boards, ladders, and roof handholds. It designated the number, dimensions, location, and manner of application for safety appliances on cars and locomotives.

This act specified one ladder on each end of the car. “(e) Ladders—(1) Number. Four. " “(3) Location. (i) One on each side, not more than 8 inches from right end of car; one on each end, not more than 8 inches from left side of car; measured from inside edge of ladder stile or clearance of ladder treads to corner of car." However, ladder spacing on some cars already in use were exempt. With the 1911 act in place, I wonder why the drawings of the SK-N and SK-P only show a ladder on the B end.

The mandate to add the second handhold on the left end of the car did not come until 1932.  


J. Stephen Sandifer


From: <> On Behalf Of WILLIAM PARDIE
Sent: Sunday, September 6, 2020 3:59 PM


When delivered these s  stock/coke cars (58000 series)  did not have end ladders.  As the cars lasted into the 1950's were end ladders ever added?


Thanks for any help.


Bill Pardie




Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone




Question On Santa Fe Sk-L Stock Car



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